Are you one of those women who quit the job for a temporary period and now thinking of getting back to work? If so, you are not alone at all. Many women have to take a break from their job due to various reasons. For these reasons, maternity leave is predominantly involved. Apart from this, women may have to take a career break due to taking care of children, caring for old parents, or any other personal reasons.
Many women want to work again, but it is not always easy to overcome the career gap. When a woman thinks of starting a job again, many kinds of doubts arise in her mind. She may wonder whether the momentum of work will be as it was before? Whether her skill set to execute work is as sharp as it was before? Whether she’ll get a salary hike? These doubts can make the whole thing very stressful. To prepare for the journey ahead, you need to take care of your mental health too.
If you are in the same situation, here are six practical tips to suggest how you can go back to
work after a career gap.
If you are in the same situation, here are six practical tips to suggest how you can go back to work after a career gap.
1. Be Honest about the Career Gap
First of all, understand that you are not the only one returning to work after a career gap. Many women have had to take a break from their job due to family or other personal reasons. So do not hide your career gap at all, and be honest about it. Whenever there are questions about this, answer them with honesty and transparency. Also, remember to state the positive aspects of your career break. For instance, if you had to take a break from work due to the illness of one of your old parents, share your experience of how you got utmost satisfaction by discharging this duty. Also, communicate with the interviewer about your learnings in this break and how you improved your skills.
2. Reach out to your network
When you have taken a break, you may be entirely away from your professional network, such as your colleagues, friends, boss, etc. Now you need to rebuild this professional network. Call your friends & colleagues, schedule a meeting with them, and know about the updates of the industry. Also, share with them your decision to get back to work. Update your Linkedin profile and start following what people are doing there. Look for job openings as per your experience and skills and start applying. Get in touch with the placement agencies and also start attending association meetings again.
3. Update your CV with your career gap
Update your CV with all the latest developments in your profile and objective. Do not hide your career gap in your CV. Add all the new skills you have learned during your break, and explain how these can benefit you to the job you’re now applying for. Also, ensure to include any accomplishments that you achieved during your gap. Make some research on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and see what employers want from their employees. Always keep in mind that a CV may act as a strong catalyst in developing confidence and courage in an aspirant’s mind.
4. Enhance your worth with a certification
Today rapid changes take place in most of the fields, especially in IT or digital marketing. You may need to learn new skills before re-starting your work. Hence it is recommended for you to earn a certification related to your field. It will enhance your knowledge and demonstrate to your employer that you are proactive about staying updated with the industry. Besides, a certification may give you an extra edge over a candidate who doesn’t have a career gap but is not on par with the industry’s latest updates.
5. Convey confidence
Never discount the value of your career break. Also, you must not be embarrassed or ashamed about it. It is admirable if you were taking care of old parents or young children. Showcase your confidence and self-belief during your interview. Remember that a little gap in your CV doesn’t mean that you are less capable than any next candidate.
6. Ensure all the necessary preparations
The first step is to be fully prepared for the next inning. Spend substantial time practicing for your upcoming interviews. Take the help of a family member or a friend who can facilitate mock interviews to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Prepare on how you are going to address your employment gap during the interview. Apart from the interview, do not forget to do your research. Take a look at your potential employer’s website and social media platforms. You should also consider their competitors and the latest industry trends.
Hence, for women wondering how to begin work after a long career break, it’s not as difficult as they may assume. Accept your career gap and have faith in your abilities. The journey of a million miles starts with the first step.